Playing the Train

for Donald Byrd

Nights, noise out of time
drove him from the building
and into the subway where tracks
clicked like the good sidemen
he couldn't afford.

He'd work the valves quietly
and ride them to the end of the line.
Dozens of trips and he'd know
the flip side of silence
is recorded alone,

and being there has nothing
to do with where you are.

Karl Garson
Barnwood, 2008